TelstraClear capitalises on XT's woes

Mobile services launched ahead of schedule

TelstraClear has accelerated the launch of its consumer mobile service following Telecom's XT network woes.

TelstraClear consumer business head Steve Jackson says it had planned to launch its full range of 3G consumer mobile plans in two to three months, but had brought two offers forward to today.

"We've had a lot of calls from XT customers, a lot from our own customers and from other network customers about what we're doing about mobile ... we had plans anyway so brought them forward to meet demand.

"You don't have to be Einstein to know there are a lot of worried and dissatisfied mobile users around the country at the moment."

One of the plans comes with a $299 3G Nokia 2730 handset. Customers who sign up to a 24-month contract will pay $29 a month for 500 free texts and 29 cents per minute calling to any landline or cellphone at any time.

The other plan gives customers who sign up to a 12-month contract 500 free texts a month and 29c calling for $20 a month.

Those who switch to TelstraClear from another network can keep their own 3G handsets and numbers.

The two plans will not be available when it announces its full consumer offering in a few months, Jackson says.

"It's a short-term promotion. We believe they're the best deals in the market at the moment for post-paid."

The mobile offers are the first from TelstraClear that are not bundled with broadband plans. The company is evaluating pre-pay mobile plans, but this would require significant development of its billing systems, he says.

Vodafone and Telecom pre-pay customers who spend at least $43 on calls a month and 2degrees customers who spend at least $85 on calls a month would be better off on TelstraClear's new plans, at the 29c per minute rate.

TelstraClear is using Vodafone's mobile network to provide the consumer mobile service and has also launched business plans on the network.

It provides mobile services to nearly 30,000 customers through Telecom's CDMA network but that is due to be switched off in 2012.

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